In what appears to be the first sign that the bloom is off the rose that brought Mike Wallenfels from Mountain Hardwear to Timbuk2 in 2009, SNEWS® has learned that efforts are underway by company representatives to replace Wallenfels with Dharma – see photo of Wallenfels to the right in happier times with his once-trusted adviser, reportedly a very close friend of Dharma.
Insiders we spoke with hinted that sales in the commuter bag category the company once owned have not grown as exponentially as investors expected, and as a result, the company’s board and others have put into place plans to replace Wallenfels with Dharma.
Proof of this move can be seen in a clear shift of executive privileges. In a recent photo obtained by SNEWS insiders, the official vehicle normally ridden by the CEO of Timbuk2 on his much-publicized commutes from Novato, Calif., to work in downtown San Francisco is now reserved exclusively for Dharma and her personal assistant/chauffeur. Our operatives secretly shot this video of Dharma heading home from the office recently, product-testing her new mobile office.
Much is already being made of the newest product line for Timbuk2, developed, we are told, entirely by Dharma. It is for this reason, as well as an unprecedented flood of orders for customized Dharma Muttmovers, that the board is putting its support, we are told, behind Dharma as the company’s new CEO.
Efforts to reach Wallenfels for comment were unsuccessful. Does this mean Wallenfels career, once so promising, has now gone to the dogs? As always, we’re following this story closely, and will report with more details once we have them -- likely not until April 1, 2012.
In a related story, SNEWS has learned a little-known activist group in San Francisco (DETO -- dogs for the ethical treatement of owners) is preparing to file a lawsuit against Dharma for forcing her assistant to chauffeur without a helmet -- a clear violation we are told of safety laws designed to protect humans against animal-owner abuse.